Chris Hedges and Rachel Moran Discuss the Reality of Prostitution
We live in a culture that “celebrates the commodification of human beings,” says Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. As a result, the human trafficking industry is expected to generate an estimated $32 billion a year.
In this week’s episode of “On Contact,” Hedges and Rachel Moran, who wrote the 2015 memoir “Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution,” discuss the different governmental approaches to prostitution, Moran’s personal experience that led to her book and how capitalism allows the industry—and all of its human rights violations—to thrive.
Moran argues that the human rights violation of prostitution cannot be called work or labor, let alone a profession. Moran—who was prostituted by the time she was 15, not long after becoming homeless—describes the things she’d have to do as “absolutely counter to human nature.” And there were no other options, she said, as a 14-year-old who had left a dysfunctional home.
“We were there because we had no choice, simple as that,” she tells Hedges. “I never met a woman in prostitution who was there because she wanted to be there.”
The truth about what Hedges calls the “manufactured illusion” of sex work is “it’s the commercialization of sexual abuse,” says Moran. It is “compensated sexual assault.”
Hedges agrees: “Being prostituted is … a raw, brutal and soul-destroying form of capitalist exploitation. … It is being raped for a living.”
RT correspondent Anya Parampil describes the movements that seek to decriminalize sex work while criminalizing pimps and “johns,” those who solicit work from prostitutes. The “Nordic model,” used in Sweden, Norway and Iceland, categorizes sex workers as victims instead of criminals.
Moran argues that in Germany, decriminalizing prostitution and creating a registry system have not seen any success. Out of 440,000 sex workers, only 44 have registered, she says. She similarly denounces the decriminalized approach of the “New Zealand model.”
“It’s not a profession. It’s not work,” says Moran. “And we can call it sex work until the sky falls in and we all catch larks. It’s not work.”
Watch the full interview below.
—Posted by KiMi Robinson